Daylight savings time begins this Sunday, March 12th. The day we set our clocks forward is the traditional reminder to change our smoke detector batteries and check their function. Why not take the opportunity to ensure the rest of your emergency preparations are in order too?
Also check the batteries in:
- Weather radio
- Carbon monoxide detector
Check expiration dates on stored supplies:
- Bottled water
- Over-the-counter medications and first aid supplies
Check your fire extinguishers and shake them up to prevent the dry powder inside from settling and solidifying.
After you’ve checked your fire extinguishers, take your kerosene heater outside to a safe location (we like the middle of the driveway – not under any trees) and dry burn it to prepare it for storage over the summer months. Refer to your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions.
Exercise all your utility shutoff valves and switches to ensure they’re easy to turn (and to remind yourself where they are). Shutting off the power also gives you an opportunity to test your battery backups.
Check any stored equipment or supplies in your home emergency kit and vehicle emergency kits, as well as special-purpose kits for kids or pets. Also check your shelter in place arrangements. Air out fabrics and insulated items and make sure mechanical and electronic devices still work. Take the opportunity to refresh yourself on how to use any items that aren’t part of your normal routine.
If the long-range forecast looks like winter is truly over, change over the winter clothing in your vehicle kits for items more suited to spring and summer temperatures.
Check all emergency information in your phone or your emergency kits to make sure contact information, prescriptions, and other key facts are current and accurate.
Finally, sit down at your computer and change the passwords on key accounts (email, social media sites, online banking). Be sure to record your new passwords someplace secure (or use a password manager application that offers two-factor authentication)!